Positive thinking sounds great, but what if you’re naturally a bit pessimistic?

At one point or another in life, you’ve probably been encouraged to engage in positive thinking. We understand, however, that positivity can be a bit of a buzzword. That’s why we’re taking a moment to specify what we really mean when we talk about positive thinking. 

For us, positive thinking is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. That doesn’t mean you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.

This definition may sound all good and well, but what if you’re naturally more pessimistic? What if you tend to expect the worst rather than the best?

No worries. Something that might help is to see positive thinking rather as a skill you can learn and benefit from, rather than a personality trait you either have or you don’t. There’s research on this, too.

In one experiment, adults who meditated daily on positive thoughts started feeling more upbeat emotions each day. Other studies have shown that positive thinking helps people manage illness and eases depression, regardless of whether they are naturally optimistic or pessimistic.

Want to generate more positive thinking in your life? Check out this advice piece from Monday’s edition of the Optimist Daily.

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